St Theresa's hospital in Clogheen
Some time ago Breaking News did us proud and highlighted the claim of the village of Clogheen in Co. Tipperary to be the rightful owners and originators of the name 'Hidden Heart of Ireland'
In 1997, when the Clogheen Hidden Heart of Ireland website was established, two members of the group travelled to Dublin to Bórd Failte (now Fáilte Ireland) with a radical idea (in 1997) to promote Irish tourism through village websites.
We suggested the printing of hundreds of thousands of 'village postcards' announcing those new, yet-to-be-established, innovative websites (in 1997). We also introduced Fáilte Ireland to the 'Clogheen Hidden Heart of Ireland' website.
While we are sure everyone in South Tipperary would wish the Midlands every success in their tourism endeavours, (we are frequent visitors) we would have expected Fáilte Ireland and the advisors to Minister Ross to have done a little more research and not taken the brand-name of a locality that has used it for 20 years.
It is our considered opinion that the name 'Hidden Heart of Ireland' has been misappropriated and used - albeit in a slightly altered format - in the new initiative to brand the Midlands. Minister Ross and Fáilte Ireland, Give us back our name!
Regards from 'Clogheen the Hidden Heart of Ireland' Ed O'Riordan
P.S. At the time (1997) we also rightly claimed to be one of the first villages in Ireland to have its own website.